What’s in Store for Asbestos Cases?
A good indicator of the future of asbestos lawsuits is what have seen so far in the past few years. According to one report, “Mesothelioma Trends in the United States: An Update Based on Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program Data for 1973 through 2003.” by Bertram Price and Adam Ware, (Am. J. of Epidemiol 2004; 159:107-112), mesothelioma diagnoses are reaching new highs. According to NERA Economic Consulting, there was a 75% increase in the average dollar amount for resolved claims in 2010. That number was more than double than then in 2009 and 2010. A large factor is that there were more malignancies resolved as opposed to non-malignancies. In general, however, the number of new cases remains stable, at about 52,000 new case per year.
Interestingly, there were less dismissed and resolved claims in 2011. This may be because the larger defendants have gone through the bulk of their non-malignant claims.